Potters Field 6: Tales from Unmarked Graves.

After trying to get to it for several months, I was finally able to read through my copy of Potters Field Six: Tales from Unmarked Graves, a collection from Alban Lake Publishing, that I was proud to be a part of. When I came across the submission call, I was definitely intrigued. They were looking to put together a bunch of stories based around the idea of an unmarked grave: who was buried there? Why? How? Did it make any difference? I quickly took my pen to an idea and came up with “Sleepwalker,” which I still feel is some of my best work. Editor Robert J. Krog must have agreed, because the story made it in, and, if I may toot my own horn a bit, I think it’s one of the stronger stories in the lot, too.

I’ll admit that I was a little disappointed by how few of the stories grabbed me in the collection, though there were definitely some that have really resonated with me. “The Grave Game” by Lyndsay E. Gilbert set up such intriguing characters in a very strange situation that I couldn’t wait to unravel, while C.W. Blackwell‘s “Potter’s Field Blues” has that rich Southern Gothic twang that always gets me going. My favorite, though, came from World Unknown Review III contributor Robert Allen Lupton. Perhaps it’s just my WUR family bias showing, but his story “Bell on the Water” was too unique and fascinating not to love. And it easily has one of the most unconventional antagonists I’ve ever read!

There were many others that I really liked conceptually, that has some really strong points of writing, but my dumb editor brain had a few hang-ups here and there that spoiled some of the experience for me. They’re all solid tales, though the ones mentioned were the ones I easily found to be the highlights (in addition to my own, ha! Seriously, though, I don’t usually like to brag, but “Sleepwalker” is easily one of my best stories, I’m 100% convinced of that). If you get the chance, check it out, enjoy some nice little spooks and creepiness, and maybe think twice about wandering down any darkened streets or trails.

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